Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 11:18 GMT
Killing fields leader 'killed himself'
Did the Khmer Rouge leader commit suicide rather than face US trial?
The notorious former Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, is reported to have committed suicide last year after hearing his comrades were offering to hand him over to the Americans.
At the time of his death in April last year, Pol Pot was reported to have suffered a heart attack.
The Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review says the United States turned down an opportunity to arrest Pol Pot, under whose regime an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died.
They said their leader took a cocktail of anti-malarial pills and tranquillisers on 15 April to avoid being taken alive.
But the US State Department has denied there was ever an offer for Pol Pot to be handed over.
He said the US had done an enormous amount to try to assist in the bringing to justice of Khmer Rouge leaders responsible for war crimes.
Mr Thayer says he is certain Pol Pot took his own life and he offers the following chain of events leading up to the suicide:
During its heyday in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge instituted a bloody regime of terror.
The US, China and some South-East Asian countries were among those who helped keep the Khmer Rouge alive after they were driven from power by an invading Vietnamese army, backed by the Soviet Union.